Pearl Jam have donated $70,000 (£52,220) to the man who saved frontman Eddie Vedder’s life 15 years ago.
The singer was sailing with friends in Hawaii when their boat was capsized by strong winds. The vessel was turned 360 degrees so it was facing the right way up, but Vedder and two women were left stranded in the water. The strong winds pushed the boat out of their reach.
As Blabbermouth reports, the group’s cries for help were heard by Ashley Baxter and her father Keith after two hours in the water. The pair found Vedder and his friends and then went and found their boat, rescuing the remaining members of their group who were still on board.
The incident inspired ‘Future Days’, which features on Pearl Jam’s ‘Lightning Bolt’ album, which was released in 2013.
Baxter was recently in a boating accident and nearly lost his leg after he was left with a bone infection. His daughter happened to bump into one of the women they had rescued with Vedder, who helped set up a GoFundMe page. The page raised $70,000 for Baxter’s medical costs.
The woman, whose name is Kacky Ovrom Chamberlain, told Vedder about Baxter’s accident. The members of Pearl Jam then matched the amount raised by donating a further $70,000.
The page now shows a total of $140,000 (£114,446) donated by five people. Four are anonymous and one is under the name of Stone Gossard – Pearl Jam’s guitarist.
Vedder recently donated $10,000 to a family in need for Christmas after a Craiglist post went viral.
A Washington Post article published on December 20th spoke of Tyshika Britten, a 35-year-old hairstylist struggling to support her family of six. In a plea posted to Craigslist, Britten wrote that her family would soon be evicted from their home and that she had no money to buy a tree or gifts for her children. “I’m so hurt,” she wrote. “I’m trying my best. I pray everyday and now I’m begging for help. I know it’s not about the gifts, but they are kids! I’m such a failure right now.”
The article caused hundreds of people around the world to send gifts for the children; others offered to help in whatever way they could. It caught the attention of Pearl Jame frontman Eddie Vedder, who sent a $10,000 cheque to Britten and her family.
Speaking to the Post on Sunday, Vedder commented; “I was just so moved by the story and what this mother did for her children. I thought those kids must be so proud of their mother for reaching out. That takes a lot of courage.”
He continued to say that the family’s story resonated with his own childhood experience. “There were years there were toys from Santa, but they were used and they came from garage sales and they didn’t always work.”